The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo

St. Martin's Paperbacks. (Victorian Rebels, Bk. 6). Sept. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781250122568. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250122575. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
OrangeReviewStarTwenty years ago, Ash crawled from a mass grave—scarred, near death, and with few memories—was rescued and nursed back to health by young Lorelai Weatherstoke, and then disappeared. Ash, now as the infamous Rook, is back with a deadly vengeance, sweeping Lorelai, who was crippled as a child, off to his ship minutes before her wedding and into a world of danger and violence. Ash had once promised to return, but the Rook, lethal pirate captain of the Devil's Dirge and feared across the seas, is not the Ash of her dreams. Yet Lorelai can't help but wonder whether he's still there, inside somewhere, if she can only find him. Hidden maps, a mysterious tattoo, and a treasure hunt burnish the pirate motif; a castle overflowing with characters from earlier stories adds continuity.
VERDICT A hero so lost he fears he'll never be found and a heroine who won't give up on him reclaim their love in a bold, lyrical tale that brings the darker side of the Victorian Age into sharp relief; another winner in a stellar series. Byrne (The Scot Beds His Wife) lives at the base of the Rockies.

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